Sick of Starbucks? Too cramped in Costas? You’re not the only one, and with many UK shoppers claiming they would rather spend their money locally and support independent ventures instead of large, profit-hungry businesses we’ve got an idyllic little spot for you to try out next.
Kahaila Women’s Projects and design studio Nina+Co are the names behind the pioneering new social enterprise cafe, Luminary Bakery which can be found nestled in the quiet back streets of Stoke Newington, London.
Hidden away from the hustle and bustle, the kitchen initially opened its doors to supply delectable baked goods to local cafes and businesses, but after doing a roaring trade has readied itself to welcome paying customers looking for a sweet treat and some freshly-brewed coffee. The cafe launches at the end of August, plans to open 7 days a week and is set to become one of the most stylish and empowering haunts for young women in the capital.
The whole thing started as a charitable notion in which women with social and economic could be given the opportunity to learn skills that would lead to employment and ultimately a better future, all through a love for baking.
The aim has always been to break the pattern of women who are brought up in disadvantaged backgrounds, targeting those who have lived a life filled with abuse, prostitution, crime or homelessness. The bakery offers training, hands-on work experience and above all paid employment that they can’t find elsewhere.
Luminary is a welcoming haven for these women, and in its new design – led by London and Barcelona based Nina+Co – tries to evoke the same atmosphere for its customers too. The spacious design is no coincidence, and has been purposely created as an inviting space for young families and those with accessibility needs. Working pro-bono and with their typical stylistic charm, Nina+Co have transformed a simple space into a beautiful artistic statement with a conscience.
The whole thing started as a charitable notion in which women with social and economic could be given the opportunity to learn skills that would lead to employment and ultimately a better future…
With a strong focus on sustainability and projects with a sense of community, Nina+Co always strive to create both environmentally and socially sustainable solutions by considering the environmental impact and real human needs at every stage of the design, manufacture and installation process.
Company founder Nina Woodcraft started the studio in 2014, and has lived in London, Amsterdam and Barcelona. This combination of cultures informs her clean and mindful approach to design, effortlessly instilling the essentials and leaving the unnecessary behind. Nina is drawn to simple, honest forms and fresh, muted tones, apparent in the ceramics and her consultancy work alike.
Even if you’re just visiting Luminary to sample a traditional scone, juicy carrot cake or a short, sharp espresso its hard not to take a few moments to soak in the interior design whilst you relax. Nevertheless, their classic menu offers a selection of mouthwatering homemade delicacies to tempt any palate.
In in the spirit of generosity, many British manufacturers offered help to the project in order to realise the concept. Ercol donated some beautiful handmade, black lacquered loveseats and stacking chairs that wouldn’t look out of place in a design exhibition.
The aim has always been to break the pattern of women who are brought up in disadvantaged backgrounds…The bakery offers training, hands-on work experience and above all paid employment that they can’t find elsewhere.
Diespeker & Co helped out by providing environmentally conscious counter tops, which incorporate waste products from the marble industry that would’ve otherwise ended up as trash.
The cafe even sealed in their ethos of sustainability by covering the walls in a carefully selected VOC-free, non-toxic, odourless paint.
Other useful donations include mouth blown glass cake domes from glassware specialists LSA International and natural, biodegradable fabric for seats from British fabric weavers Camira. Such kind donations help paint a picture of the overall feel which emanates from the business and the people who work there; one of warmth, friendliness and hope for the future.
71-73 Allen Road, Stoke Newington, Hackney, London N16 8RY
+ 44 (0) 20 7686 9779
All photos © Anna Stathaki www.annastathaki.com